Quick Security Alerts for the Week Ending 10/10/2010

Quick Security Alerts for the Week Ending 10/3/2010

Quick Security Alerts for the Week Ending 9/26/2010

Security Alerts for the Week Ending 9/5/2010

feeds | grep links > PHP on Android, Shoring Up 4th Amendment Protection of Email, and More

Security Alerts for the Week Ending 7/4/2010

feeds | grep links > Open Skype SDK, New Release of Eclipse, iOS 4 Jail Broken, and More

  • Skype releases an SDK, it may be open
    Ryan Paul has the details at Ars. The beta for using the SDK is closed at the moment so I am guessing speculation about the SDK being open in some way has to do with it only being available on Linux. Nothing on the Skype site for the SDK mentions an open license. What I do find interesting, and prodded me to finally remark on this is that the SILK codec is available royalty free. I count myself among many who stick with Skype, despite it being proprietary, for the very high audio quality SILK provides.
  • New release of Eclipse IDE and associated tools
    I stopped using Eclipse a few weeks back because I was getting bogged down by its idiotic insistence on continually re-compiling my project. I suspect this is very peculiar to a large Java project using Maven, not to Eclipse itself. As Ryan Paul explains at Ars, this latest, on-time release developers more tools, for more languages and targets, increasing Eclipse’s scope as well as its features.
  • Mozilla committed to web standards over native code
    This Register piece actually ranges over much of the plans for the forthcoming releases of Firefox’s browser, not just the rational for not embracing native code and plugins the way Google has with Chrome. This is one of the reasons I am still a devoted Firefox user, despite claims it is bloaty or that it is being out innovated by Chrome. Mozilla strives harder to make a contribution of greater value to everyone on the web, not just their own browser, users or services.
  • iOS 4 jail broken
    Sarah Perez has the details at RWW. The break works in 3G phones and 2nd generation Touches. It will be interesting to see if this helps prove out the rumor that over-the-air updates in iOS 4 are designed to detected and disable service on jail broken devices. I am also interested in seeing how fast the mod community can mow down the new hardware, the iPhone 4. I don’t expect it to take long, once hackers can actually lay hands on the devices.
  • More research into implications of stronger copyright on digital content
  • More ideas, details on Google’s dedication to speeding up the web
  • Twitter gets warning, settles with FTC over last year’s data breaches
  • Latest IE9 preview makes strides in performance, comaptibility

Quick Security Alerts for the Week Ending 5/16/2010

Bogus DMCA Takedown against a Single Tweet

Mike Masnick at Techdirt has both the details and a good analysis. The tweet in question was posted by a music blogger, JP, and linked to a post on his blog. The tweet itself didn’t infringe or directly link to infringing material. That didn’t stop some rights holder from targeting Twitter, specifically, and the social messaging service from rolling over.

As Masnick explains, the post on JP’s blog links to a couple of files that may be infringing. At most that post on his blog should be the target of a takedown, not his tweet. Undoubtedly, like many takedowns, some lawyer fired this off with little thought or investigation. This is an excellent example of the problematic asymmetry in costs inherent in the DMCA takedown system. Without any burden on the issuer the calculus inevitably leads to firing off a demand letter even when the intent isn’t even prior restraint on speech. This could be a legitimate mistake stemming from simple ignorance but a small amount of friction might have correctly preempted it.

Worst is the cost on countering a DMCA takedown, especially for a fast moving service like Twitter. The normal delays in dealing with a counter claim hardly make it worth the effort. Who is going to be interested in a tweet restored from two week’s back? I dearly hope this isn’t the head end of a new trend to use searchers that work with social streams to spot words like “leak” and indiscriminately issue takedowns.

More on the Library of Congress Twitter Archive

Nate Anderson at Ars spoke with Martha Anderson, the director of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library. She explains that the move to archive Twitter’s public timeline was initiated by Twitter which makes a lot more sense out of the idea. She expresses more enthusiasm for the project than I would have inferred from it being pushed by the social message service.

I can see her point about capturing a change in communications as it happens. I will be curious to see if Twitter and social messaging as a whole remain an abiding change like print, radio and television. I wonder if it is too early to make this call but given the storage capacity mentioned in the article, the cost of finding out is minimal. I hope the other costs associated are minimal, there is good reasons to think so. I am glad that the archive will be using existing capacity, no doubt a big reason why the Library agreed in the first place.

Nate paints some interesting scenarios, too, to help explain the project. I guess he has a point about the archive as a supplemental resource. It is time coded and increasingly will be geocoded making it easier to correlate to more in-depth materials. As such, I think he may be right about it giving a social color to events of the day that may be otherwise lacking in the digital record.

I would suggest they look at the Internet Archive to help with the short link issue. Think about it: even expanding a short link and capturing the canonical ULR now could lead to a broken link years from now or worse a site that no longer matches the message from which it was linked. Converting short links through their expanded form and then to a pointer into a snapshot in the Wayback Machine makes great sense to better solve both those problems.